What Are OSHA Rolling Scaffold Regulations?

Using scaffolding in the workplace requires employees to perform their work at extreme heights. As a result, it’s essential for companies to provide crews with safe scaffolding equipment and for workers to understand how to use the equipment correctly. While workers use scaffolds to perform their job duties more easily, using this equipment also poses safety risks. 

Window washers, carpenters, masons, construction contractors, maintenance workers and building restoration crews who use rolling scaffolds need to adhere to strict rolling scaffold regulations. At International Equipment, we have developed this guide to the basic rules of scaffolding and scaffolding safety guidelines.

What Are Rolling Scaffolds?

Rolling scaffolds, also known as mobile scaffolds, are supported scaffold sets on castors or wheels. These scaffolds are powered or unpowered and allow for easy movement and a more efficient work environment. Employees who change their position frequently while performing their job duties often use rolling scaffolds. 

The most common kind of rolling scaffold is a single bay scaffold tower supported with castors. Rolling scaffolds can be constructed using modular type, fabricated frame or tube and coupler scaffolds. Similarly, narrow frame scaffolds are often used as rolling scaffolds, as they also have wheels and are designed to move easily. 

These scaffolds are often used for operations that require frequent position changes like plastering, drywall installation and painting. In some cases, rolling scaffolds are a safer and more efficient choice than ladders and can be adapted to ramps, stairs or other uneven surfaces. 

How to Avoid Rolling Scaffold Injuries and Meet OSHA Compliance

Since rolling scaffolds have more mobility than other models, they come with different safety standards, and companies that use them should prioritize OSHA mobile scaffold fall protection for workers. As you should with any scaffold, you should inspect rolling scaffolds before, during and after use. Damaged parts should be removed and replaced as soon as possible to prevent injury. Some hazards that come with rolling scaffolds can lead to injury or death, such as:

  • Tip-overs.
  • Falls from heights.
  • Structural failures.
  • Electric shocks.

When your workers use rolling scaffolds, keep the following tips in mind:

  • Secure or cleat planks.
  • Secure the rolling scaffolds’ access ladders.
  • Brace rolling scaffolds diagonally and horizontally.
  • Push toward the base when moving a rolling scaffold.
  • Prevent a rolling scaffold’s joints from separating.
  • Ensure the appropriate guardrails are present on the platform.
  • Inspect rolling scaffolds before every use and after modifications.
  • Install outriggers to increase the rolling scaffold’s base dimensions.
  • Make sure workers are properly trained to erect and use these scaffolds.
  • Make sure every castor or wheel has brakes to prevent swiveling and rolling.
  • Assemble these scaffolds according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Use built-in access ladders to reach the scaffold’s platform.
  • Provide employees with a method to access and exit the rolling scaffold safely.
  • Lock the castor brakes before climbing onto a rolling scaffold.
  • Secure or remove all the equipment, personnel and material from the platform before it’s moved.
  • Ensure the surface on which the rolling scaffold is being moved is level and doesn’t have any obstructions or holes.
  • Refer to your jurisdiction’s occupational safety and health regulations to determine OSHA rolling scaffold height requirements.
  • Refer to your jurisdiction’s occupational health and safety regulations to determine when a fall arrest system is necessary. If these systems are necessary, employees should be appropriately trained before using them.

General Scaffolding Best Practices

Along with being aware of requirements for OSHA compliance, you may want to understand general scaffolding best practices. During use, scaffolding best practices include:

  • Keeping the platform free of trip hazards.
  • Encouraging employees to avoid jumping on platforms or planks.
  • Preventing debris and loose objects from accumulating on the platform.
  • Ensuring the scaffold is free of grease, mud, paint or any other slippery materials.
  • Preventing overloading by following the manufacturer’s recommendations.
  • Encouraging workers to avoid using acids or corrosive materials on platform boards.
  • Discouraging employees from using boxes, chairs or ladders to increase their height.
  • Requiring employees to avoid standing on guardrails or using the guardrails to gain more height.
  • Ensuring the scaffold is never left unattended and re-inspecting it prior to use if it is left unattended.
  • Encouraging employees to keep their bodies within the boundaries of the scaffold and guardrail section.

For equipment maintenance, scaffolding best practices include the following:

  • Avoid mixing components: Manufacturer platforms, trusses, castors and end frame access ladders should not be mixed.
  • Check for damages: A platform should be checked for missing or loose edge banding, thin spits or holes where the plywood has become worn. Damaged or worn boards should be removed and replaced. If a platform is exposed to excessive heat like a fire, the platform should be removed from service immediately and replaced. 
  • Inspect the lock: Whenever the equipment is returned after use, the pin and spring should be lubricated. Lock pins shouldn’t be hammered. If a lock sticks, it should be cleaned and lightly greased. Afterward, move the pin to ensure it moves freely. If the problem isn’t fixed, replace the lock.

Our Safety Training Courses

Safety training is essential for increasing awareness and preventing mishaps that could lead to accidents and injuries. At International Equipment, we have developed training programs to meet the relevant guidelines to keep your company OSHA compliant. Are safety training courses include: 

  • Safe methods to use when handling materials during scaffolding use.
  • System scaffold competent person.
  • Swing stage competent person.
  • System scaffold builder.
  • Frame scaffold builder.
  • System scaffold user.
  • Frame scaffold user.
  • Swing stage builder.
  • Fall protection.

We have more than two decades of relevant experience in the scaffolding industry, which we will employ as your provider of safety training services. We cover all the scaffolding safety procedures and provide your workers with personalized training so they know what and what not to do while on the job.

Reach Out to Us to Learn More

At International Equipment, we are a contractor that supplies various scaffolding equipment, including swing stages, stair towers, shoring and barricades. We also provide experienced and professional labor to construct our company’s offerings. We are located in Chicago, and we value safety, quality and expert service. Our experience in the industry and focus on safety allows us to support our customers through all their project needs. 

For all your scaffolding solutions, we are your one-stop shop. We can meet all your equipment and labor needs. Contact us at International Equipment to learn more about OSHA scaffolding requirements.